Serbia : Updates
July 2008 - Laurence Mitchell
Here are a few updates and revisions, of which the most important for visitors is the unresolved Kosovo border stamp issue (see below). Thanks to Dragan Simić of Belgrade, H.H. Saffery of London and Joost van Gelder of Amsterdam for providing some of the information.
Chapter 1 Background Information
Natural history and conservation p.4
The integrity of the Stara Planina Nature Park, the largest protected area in Serbia, is threatened by the development of a huge new ski resort with a proposed 200km of ski slopes, beds to accommodate 28,000 guests and sufficient infrastructure to cope with up to 40,000 skiers at one time. For this to go ahead, a large area of indigenous beech and conifer woodland would have to be cleared. Local ecosystems would be severely damaged and many endangered species would be threatened as a result. For more information, click here.
An excellent resource on Serbian wildlife is www.wild-serbia.com.
Kosovo declared fully independence from Serbia in February 2008. This independence is currently recognised by over 40 countries, including the UK, USA and most of the EU, with Russia and Serbia raising the strongest objections.
Chapter 2 Practical Information
Red tape p.58
In June 2008 the Kosovo authorities replaced the previous UNMIK passport stamp with a new ‘Republic of Kosovo’ one. Some travellers with passports bearing this stamp have been refused admittance to Serbia at the Macedonian and Bulgarian borders, although those travelling by train appear to have passed unhindered. Whether this is official policy in response to Serbian anger at Kosovo’s recently declared independence or simply the attitude of over-zealous officials remains to be seen. The best advice for the time being is to travel to Serbia first if you intend to visit Kosovo as well.
Getting there by car p.64
Another recent quirk affecting drivers entering Serbia with their own vehicles is that those bearing Green Card insurance papers made out for SCG (ie: Serbiaand Montenegro) are being instructed to purchase new Green Card papers at the border and pay a fine. This is despite an agreement in place that states that the SCG Green Cards would remain valid until 2009.
Chapter 3 Belgrade
Where to stay p.104
The website of the palatial Hotel Admiral Club is www.admiralhotebelgrade.com.
Hotel Moskva will remain closed for much of 2008 because of extensive refurbishment and will probably reopen as a five-star.
Hotel Metropol Palace closed for refurbishment in 2007 and is yet to reopen.
Hotel Jugoslavija in New Belgrade has closed down awaiting renovation.
Where to eat and drink p.111
Grčka kraljica at Kneza Mihaila 51 has closed down as a restaurant and now functions as a café.
Kevin’s Bar, formerly Snežana Pizzeria at Kneza Mihaila 50, is now known asSnežana once more.
Carski Lov (Ada Huja bb (north of Višnjička); ob: 062 544 544; www.carskilov.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; open 10.00—23.00) is a newly opened and fairly expensive restaurant built in the style of a wooden Siberian hunting lodge. It stands isolated on waste ground next to the Danube. Its speciality is game and there is live music on Saturdays.
Fashion and accessories p.130
The showroom of the Women’s Textile Workshop at Trg Nikole Pašića in the city centre (mentioned in the first edition) has closed due to lack of funding. One of the WTW organisers, Sandra Janković, has put together her own collection of handbags and accessories: Da Lena handbags and accessories, Tadueša Košćuška 18 (open Mon—Fri 12.00—20.00; Sat 11.00—17.00); tel/fax: 2180 655; www.da-lena.com.
The Plato Bookshop at Akademski plato 1 no longer has an internet café.
Chapter 4 Along the Danube
There is a very helpful Tourist Office (Turističko Informativni Centar Smederevo) at Kralja Petra 8; tel/fax: 026 615 666; email: email@example.com.
Chapter 6 Vojvodina
Getting around p.208
The local bus system has changed considerably. The local bus station at Riblja pijaca has closed down and its services combined with those of the long-distance bus station. Bus #4 runs between the city centre and the bus sand railway stations.
Tourist information p.209
The tourist office email has changed: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is open 08.30—20.00 Mon—Thu, 07.30—20.00 Fri and 08.30—13.30 Sat.
Where to stay p.210
The Hotel Varadin at Petrovaradin fortress has been fully refurbished and reopened as the very smart five-star Hotel Leopold 1 (tel: 021 4887 878, mob: 064 2464 174; fax: 021 4887 877; web: www.leopldns.com; email:email@example.com) with double room rates of around 180€ and apartments for 200—385€.
Museums and galleries p.219
The Museum of Vojvodina email is now: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where to stay and eat p.224
The Hotel Boem is reported as being currently in a poor state by more than one correspondent.
What to see p.238
The Town Hall museum has been relocated to a building near the synagogue, while the tourist office has moved into the Town Hall.
Stara Moravica in Vojvodina, a village close to Bačka Topola halfway between Subotica and Sombor, is home to a self-catering village farmhouse that sleeps up to eight. This is an ideal base for a leisurely birding, biking or hiking holiday. The farmhouse, which has been fully renovated by an expatriate British couple, is close to a lake in the middle of beautiful wine-producing countryside. Meals can be provided and first evening dinners pre-booked. Check out: www.stara-moravica.com.
Where to stay p.251
Motel Vetrenjača, Beogradski put bb (tel/fax: 013 801 156) outside the city on the road to the Romanian border has been recommended along with its restaurant
Where to eat and drink p.251
The Gradska kafana has closed and is now a Benetton shop
Chapter 7 West and Southwest Serbia
Studenica monastery p265
A daily bus leaves Kraljevo at 13.30 to reach Ušće at 14.40, which connects with the waiting bus for Studenica, reached about 15.05. The return journey is at 18.00. The cost for the journey is 200din each way. The monastery is now well-signed from the main road.